Jets’ successful pass interference challenge shows how rule will work

Jets’ successful pass interference challenge shows how rule will work

The Jets’ Adam Gase became the first coach to successfully test out the new pass interference challenge rule in his team’s preseason opener Thursday against the Giants. 

The call came during the third quarter when Jets quarterback Davis Webb threw an incomplete pass. It was intended for Tim White, but Giants cornerback Corey Ballentine was seen on the replay holding White’s left wrist while the ball was coming toward the two players.

No flag was thrown, but Gase challenged the no-call. The Jets ultimately were rewarded with a gain of 33 yards on the play after officials determined Ballentine interfered.

NFL senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron explained the challenge on Twitter through the NFL’s officiating account, writing: “The defender significantly hinders the receiver’s opportunity to catch the ball. The ruling on the field is changed because there is clear and obvious visual evidence of defensive pass interference.” 

Gase explained in his postgame press conference that the Jets were pleased with the result of their challenge, but also acknowledged there could be confusion around it as the season goes on.

“It’s interesting. We just got to keep working through it,” Gase told reporters. “I’m sure there will be mistakes made along the way where it’s like should we have challenged that, should we have not of. You are trying to go off of the way that we’ve been explained over the years of of the whole DPI, OPI, so that seemed like the right time, and we all felt good about it and then we got the result that we wanted.”

The Broncos were the first team to challenge the pass interference rule last week in the Hall of Fame Game against the Falcons, though they were unsuccessful. 

The league’s competition committee unanimously recommended the rule for instant replay of pass interference for this season only. NFL owners can then decide to extend, alter or eliminate it entirely.

The change comes after last season’s NFC championship game between the Saints and the Rams when there was a non-call on Los Angeles’ Nickell Robey-Coleman, though replays showed clear contact on the play.